The second half of power popster Mikal Cronin's latest album, "MCIII," is his equivalent of a Jesse Eisenberg movie.
The six-song suite tells Cronin's "coming-of-age" story, including the origins of his career in music. He'll perform this weekend in Hudson River Park as part of the 4Knots Music Festival, along with indie rockers Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks and experimental indie-pop band Super Furry Animals.
amNewYork spoke with Cronin.
What do you mean when you talk about your "coming-of-age" story?
It's a series of songs that goes through and narrates a time in my life when I was out of my element for the first time. I was out of high school, I moved to the Pacific Northwest and I was dealing with certain emotional issues for first time, and a physical issue as well. … Coming out the other side is how I started playing in bands and writing songs for first time.
You were about to give up music at that time. What turned you around?
I played in some bands in high school but kind of hung it up for that period because I thought what I should be doing is focusing on academia. I wasn't pursuing or playing music. In retrospect, that was a big factor in me being a miserable person at that time.
What concept albums or song suites inspired you?
The one I keep bringing up when talking to people is the Kate Bush record "Hounds of Love." I took the format of that album, with the A-side being more standalone songs and the B-side being linear like a concept record. It really hit me because it was amazing. All her A-side songs were hits. They were awesome and perfect. The B-side is this dark, experimental, scary concept record. I thought it was a really, really cool thing for a legitimate pop star to do. … I played it over and over because of the different experiences and different ways of listening to it.
Do you see your three albums ["Mikal Cronin," "MCII" and "MCIII"] as a trilogy?
I do. Loosely. … It'll be interesting for me to look back on 10 years or so down the line. The albums became a document of my 20s. After some time away from it, it'll be almost like a journal for me. … I don't think I'll title the next one "MCIV," but maybe.
IF YOU GO: The 4Knots Music Festival takes place at Pier 84 at Hudson River Park on July 11 starting at noon, W. 44th St., $25-$50.